At MacDonald Hoague and Bayless, our attorneys are experienced in providing comprehensive immigration assistance for employers of all sizes, from start-ups and small businesses to multinational, Fortune 500 companies.
We also have experience working with employers in a wide variety of industries, including technology, education, manufacturing, health, and many others. We provide guidance to employers in hiring employees, developing strategies to hire and retain employees who require immigration sponsorship, and implementing internal policies for immigration sponsorship. Our services include obtaining temporary (nonimmigrant) work visas, as well as employment-based green cards (permanent residence).
Non-Immigrant (Temporary) Work Visas
MacDonald Hoague and Bayless attorneys are experienced in a wide variety of nonimmigrant work visas. We regularly prepare visas including the following:
E-1 and E-2
E-1 and E-2 visas are available for citizens of countries with which the U.S. maintains particular treaties, including individuals coming to the U.S. to engage in trade or to invest in a business in the U.S. Also included are essential employees, high-level supervisors, executives, or highly skilled workers for certain businesses owned by a citizen of a treaty company.
The H-1B visa is intended for specialty occupation positions requiring at least a Bachelor’s or foreign equivalent degree in a specific field of study. Due to a cap on the number of H-1B visas available in a given year, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a lottery system for accepting H-1B visas during the first week of April. MacDonald Hoague and Bayless attorneys are experienced in filing H-1B petitions for companies of all types and sizes, including large companies, start-ups, and non-profit and research organizations that are not subject to the cap. Additionally, we have filed H-1B petitions for a broad range of positions, including IT and engineering, consulting, marketing, and teaching positions, among many others. MHB attorneys provide hands-on guidance in helping employers to navigate the H-1B process.
The L-1 visa is available for intracompany transferees of multinational companies, specifically, for individuals who have worked abroad for a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of a U.S. company for at least one of the last three years as a manager or specialized knowledge employee. Employees who will serve as a manager in the U.S. may qualify for an L-1A visa, while individuals with specialized knowledge of the company’s products, services, procedures, etc. may qualify for an L-1B visa. MacDonald Hoague and Bayless attorneys assist companies in preparing and filing individual L-1 petitions with USCIS, as well as blanket L-1 applications at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Additionally, our attorneys are experienced in preparing L-1 applications for new offices in the U.S.
Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics may qualify for an O-1 visa. In addition to meeting specific eligibility criteria, the O-1 requires national or international recognition for achievements in the field. MacDonald Hoague and Bayless attorneys can help individuals to assess eligibility for an O-1 and prepare a case for filing with USCIS.
P-1, P-2, and P-3
Internationally recognized athletes, performers, or artists may be eligible to obtain temporary visas to come to the US temporarily to perform at specific events individually or with a team. MacDonald Hoague and Bayless has represented professional sports teams and performance groups in obtaining visas for prospective and current members.
R-1 visas are available for certain individuals coming to the U.S. for employment as a minister or in another religious occupation based on sponsorship by religious organizations.
TN status is available for citizens of Canada and Mexico coming to the U.S. for employment at the professional level, in specified occupations including Engineers, Management Consultants, and medical professionals, among others.
Employment-Based Permanent Residence
First Preference Category
Individuals may be eligible for an immigrant visa (a basis for applying for a green card) if they possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. This category does not require an offer of employment.
Employers may sponsor an individual in this category if he or she qualifies as an outstanding professor or researcher, or a multinational manager or executive who was previously employed in a managerial or executive position at a related company abroad.
Second Preference Category
Individuals may also be eligible for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) to request that the PERM labor certification process be waived in the national interest. These visas are available for individuals who have exceptional ability and whose employment would greatly benefit the nation. An offer of employment is not required.
Employers may also sponsor an individual for an immigrant visa if he or she has an advanced degree or five years of progressive work experience following attainment of a bachelor’s degree. This category requires that the employer conduct recruitment for the position offered to the applicant to demonstrate that there are not available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered. MacDonald Hoague and Bayless attorneys are experienced at guiding employers through the PERM labor certification process, including responding to audits.
Third Preference Category
Employers may also sponsor an individual for an immigrant visa for individuals with at least a bachelor’s or equivalent degree, or at least two years of work experience. This category requires that the employer conduct recruitment for the position offered to the applicant to demonstrate that there are not available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered.